Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Backyard Sighting: Cooper's Hawk

I happened to glance outside my bathroom window just in time to see a Cooper's hawk land on the deck railing below. My camera was downstairs (of course!), so I contented myself with spying on it for a minute or two before it soared away.

I can hear you now. So, Ellen, how do you know that it was a Cooper's hawk and not the similar-looking sharp-shinned hawk? Well, it just so happened that I did NOT know for certain, so I did a bit o' research, as is my wont. I came upon a wonderful article, Tricky Bird IDs: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk, from Project FeederWatch, which cleared up the conundrum. Now I know my particular hawk was a Cooper's.

As much as I like seeing hawks -- we mostly see red-tailed hawks in our backyard -- I admit to a touch of anxiety when they stalk our feeders. Yes, I know they need to eat, too, and that their entree of choice is other small birds. But I don't like witnessing such National Geographic moments in my face and in real time. You know, in reality.

For your viewing pleasure (not in real time or reality), here's a photo I found on the GeorgiaInfo webpage:

Photo by Vicki DeLoach
In addition to this hawk, we were glad to see the dark-eyed juncos arrive! What are you seeing in your backyard this winter?


  1. Heehee... I wouldn't have doubted you if you'd said you *knew* it was a Cooper's Hawk without researching ;) but you're honesty is very nice :)
    My dd saw a falcon (what kind, I don't know) in our tree today but it was only there for a second or two and I missed seeing it. I love seeing new animals (we have a fox that comes around at night and is caught with our trail cam) and then trying to identify them.
    Oh, and I know you stopped by my blog a few times lately and I've not gotten around to replying- sorry! I've not been online and/or in the bloggy world much lately. Time for a break, I think.
    Have a great rest of the week :)

  2. In our garden: blackbirds (grateful for our leftover porridge) and the little British robin who is friendly and inquisitive! Also a fair number of pigeons of various sorts.

  3. I just read that Tricky Hawks article today in their newsletter. Very good info and I love seeing hawks from our windows.

    Always enjoy a good bird blog entry. :)


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